by Bethany Maines
A New Holiday Novella
Oh my goodness! COVID down time actually came through for me this year and I have finished, yes that’s right actually finished, the holiday novella I’ve been planning on getting around to for last THREE years. Way back in 2017 I completed what I would consider a long short story called Oh Holy Night about a graphic designer and a bank robbery that goes badly. And then I followed that up with the award-winning Blue Christmas the following year. Blue was about a college student, an adorable French Bulldog and a whole lot of smuggled diamonds. As you can guess from the descriptions, these aren’t the traditional Hallmark Christmas stories. But they are romantic funny adventures about people who learn to love the Christmas season.
What Christmas Carol is Next?
Winter Wonderland completes the trilogy with a story about Bah-Humbug photographer Marcus Winters and a set designer Larissa “I love Christmas” Frost who find themselves involved in a robbery gone wrong and must solve the mystery of “whodunnit” before Larissa ends up in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. The fun part about the novella is that it let’s me get back in the mystery writing zone. And jeez, now I remember why that was hard! The clues, the suspects, the timeline! Every time I write a mystery, I respect other mystery writer’s even more.
What is the question?
Every book has a question in it that the protagonists are trying to answer. Whether that question is philosophical to themselves and their world or whether it’s something literal like “where’s the money” the question has to be answered in a satisfactory way order to deliver on the promise of the book. But with a mystery, not only are the protagonists trying to answer the question of “who committed the crime” the reader is too. And staying a step ahead of the reader and the characters in the story is hard work for a writer. Authors can fall back on several tricks to make the mystery work–choosing when to reveal information, letting information exist on the page without drawing attention to it, deliberately calling out false clues (red herrings!)–but in the end, a mystery only works if the crime is solvable and for that a writer cannot whimsically wave their hand at the end. An author has to know how, who, where, and why and then, if your me, also toss in a romance, some character development, and hopefully a decent turn of phrase.
It has been fun to venture into the mystery world once again and I’m more than pleased to complete the story that’s been on my to-do list for three years. I hope that readers will enjoy it too. Look for Winter Wonderland in November of 2022.
Want to know more about Winter Wonderland?
Click Here: https://bethanymaines.com/romanticsuspense/
PreOrder Here: https://books2read.com/winter-wonderland/
Bethany Maines the award-winning author of romantic action-adventure and mystery novels that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind-end. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub.